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A. Louis Villafranca

Library Assistant II
Binding Preparation
100 Library, WG-13
Michigan State University Libraries
East Lansing, MI 48824-1048

(517) 884-0906

I am a full time Library Assistant II in the Binding Preparation Unit of the MSU Libraries.

I've been with the MSU Libraries for over 15 years. I began in 1992 as a student assistant in the Map Library. Afterwards, I worked my way up to become a student assistant in the Main Office. After a year of working there, I was promoted into the Libraries Human Resources Office where I handled student payroll and many other personnel related tasks.

After graduating from MSU in December of 1994, I began working half-time in the Binding Preparation unit in February, 1995. In March of the same year, I began working half-time in the Government Documents library. In February 2000, I left the Government Documents unit for a higher half-time position in the Library Instruction unit. In May of 2003, the Library Instruction unit was reorganized and I was reassigned to work full-time as an LAII in the Binding Preparation Unit.

I am mainly responsible for preparing journals to be bound. Our unit oversees the preparation of library materials prior to their being transferred to a commercial binder. Many types of materials are bound including books and periodicals from all over the library and its branches. I inspect, measure, and verify the contents of each set of magazines, journals, and annuals that will be bound together. I enter spine information into a computer so that the cover can be manufactured and printed by the commercial binder. Once prepared, these materials are shipped out. When they return, they are sent to the stacks in the main library and branch libraries where they remain permanently. In addition to periodical binding, I handle special binding jobs and some parts of the monograph collections.

I also handle other binding related tasks. These include the sorting of materials too brittle to bind into groups so that boxes can be ordered for them. I handle part of these box orders. I also help to oversee the student workforce and assist with questions and problems they encounter. Throughout all of my duties, I help to weed out database problems and errors. These situations require me to invoke problem solving skills necessary for the maintenance of the database and the general workflow.

In 2000, I became seriously interested in photography. In order to learn as much as I could, I enrolled in the Lansing Community College Photographic Imaging Program. I studied the ins and outs of exposure, composition, lighting, film and print processing, color theory, and digital editing. In May 2007, I completed the program and walked away with an associates degree in Photographic Imaging (summa cum laude). Since then, I have continued to practice my shooting and digital processing skills. As part of this development, I have become increasingly involved in the photographic needs of the MSU Libraries. I regularly work with the Print Office to provide photos and digital editing support for various library publications and projects. These include the Development and Special Collections newsletters, web graphics, PR posters, the Staff Photo Board, and much more. I also do event photography for library functions such as the Fall Open House, Friends Dinner, the Student Book Collection Competition, and the Faculty Staff Publication Reception. Recently, I have been involved with helping to create databases of library photos that serve various purposes. I'm proud to say that I've become the go-to guy for almost all of the MSU Library's photographic needs.


In 1995, I served on the Student Employment Coordinating Committee (SECC) Fall Orientation Sub Committee. In 1996, I served as co-chair for the same committee. In 1997, I chaired both the regular SECC and the 1997 SECC Fall Orientation Sub Committee.

Last update: January 7, 2010 - Page editor: Louis Villafranca

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